England has enough practice at Brabourne Stadium

Alastair Cook’s chagrined group, following its first defeat against Bangladesh in Mirpur last week, has got down to the business of training and practising at the famous Brabourne Stadium with a retinue of support staff.

Alastair Cook (right) and Moeen Ali chat during a practice session at Brabourne Stadium.   -  PTI

England took optimum benefit out of its three-day stay in the city prior to its departure to Rajkot which is all set to join the Test match-venue club on November 9.

Alastair Cook’s chagrined group, following its first defeat against Bangladesh in Mirpur last week, has got down to the business of training and practising at the famous Brabourne Stadium with a retinue of support staff. They included coach Trevor Bayliss, fast bowling coach Ottis Gibson, spin coach Saqlain Mushtaq and handful more.

>Read: 'Anderson playing the second Test is a good possibility'

The team has not appeared careworn in the two days it warmed up by playing football and indulging in net practice which is served with plenty of net bowlers. A handful of players like Jos Buttler (of Mumbai Indians) Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and support staff also took time off to unwind themselves at a social gathering at the Cooch Behar Room last Thursday. The cricketers appeared to be picking the brains of Umesh Patwal of the Global Cricket School and who has done work with Surrey, Kent, Somerset and also the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Eight hours of net session at a lovely ground in the city would have soothed the nerves of Cook’s team. The serious part of the five-Test series, though, will start at Rajkot’s stadium on the Jamnagar highway at Khanderi village where Dhiraj Parsana is preparing a wicket that is more likely to assist the slow men.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has taken plenty of wickets there and skipper Virat Kohli would expect the local hero to deliver in a big way as India begins its second home international series of the season.

After the second four-hour training session, the England captain addressed his first press conference of the tour outside the Card Room of the Club and the visiting journalists shot a number of questions on the likely return to action of England’s highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, James Anderson.

Late on Friday, the 34-year-old seamer gave the cheerful news from England that he is likely to take the flight to Rajkot ahead of the first Test after having recovered from a shoulder injury.

“It's really good news. He’s probably a week ahead of where we thought he was going to be. He's ready to come out, so it's about trying to get him out to Rajkot as quick as we can. I heard he may be on the same flight as Straussy (Andrew Strauss) on Tuesday, hopefully, but that's just hearsay,” Cook said.

“He’s worked incredibly hard to get back. Speaking to the guys at Loughborough, and speaking to him, there's no more he can do there, he's got the all clear. It's about him acclimatising and getting some time in the nets. It's great that he's put the effort in, rather than take the easy option and come back in July, he wants to make a difference in this series,” Cook said.

Anderson, who has taken 22 wickets in seven Test matches in India over 11 years, will not figure in the England attack in Rajkot; but he may be available at Visakhapatnam.

Cook further said: “We will not know until we see him with our eyes, but just chatting to him yesterday and a couple of days before, the second Test is a possibility. The last game (at Mirpur) might have been the first game I've captained without Stuart or Jimmy.”

Cook also revealed what his team achieved in the last two days at the CCI.

“We did a lot of focus starting with spin, each batsman facing 20-30 balls. We have spoken about it and the guys experienced what can happen. You don’t normally get that (net bowlers, most of whom were spinners) as an England side. It was just a couple of days of practice and a couple of different things to experiment. These are good players. One bad session or one tough day does not make them bad players. Every time this side has been questioned, they have found a way out. I expect the same here.”